The Staples girls tennis team shows off its depth in rolling to a 6-1 road win over New Canaan on Monday afternoon.
"We're trying to build so we are playing our best tennis at the end of the season," Staples coach Paco Fabian said. "Winning at New Canaan; it's a tough place to play and it's going to build a lot of confidence for the girls."
Staples No. 1 Melissa Beretta defeated Emily Brand 6-4, 6-1 in the first meeting between the two seniors. Brand made life hard on Beretta before the Staples captain pulled away in the second set.
"It was definitely a tough match," Beretta said. "(Brand) had me running around a lot so it was tiring. ... I definitely had to move a lot and had to wait before being aggressive; waiting it out and letting the points go longer before I got aggressive, stepped up and hit my shot."
The Rams earned their lone point of the match behind No. 2 Caroline Gordon, who defeated Alex Collins 6-1, 6-2.
"(Gordon) is extremely smart on the court," New Canaan coach Eric Fey said. "She's able to find a way to win. When she plays, every shot has a purpose; she doesn't go through the motions."
Fey, in his first season leading the Rams, is pleased with the progress his team has made so far this season. New Canaan, the defending Class L champion, is off to a 4-4 start.
"We have great senior leadership out of our captains," Fey said. "It's easy to give up and I haven't seen that at all. "I have no complaints. It's been going smooth and overall I'm happy with the effort of the girls."
Gabi Titlebaum and Julia Bartimer earned singles victories for Staples. Titlebaum topped Camrya Schlim 6-1, 6-1 while Bartimer defeated Kelsey Rowley, who retired in the second set after suffering from dehydration.
"Matches like these are good to take an advantage of the competition," Bartimer said. "It's good to work on your skills that will help later in the season."
Following the first doubles win, Staples earned a pair of hard fought, three set doubles victories. Xenia Bradley and Sarah Rountree defeated Katie Means and Tyler Kendall 6-3, 4-6, 10-7 while Kelsey Shockey and Vanessa Mauricio came from behind to top Sarah Lovejoy and Schuyler O'Mahoney 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Staples, which hopes to be in the conversation for an FCIAC finals appearance, earned its third straight win since a 5-2 defeat to Ludlowe April 21.
"We've had some tough matches that we've lost in three sets, or other matches that were close," Beretta said. "It's just putting in that extra effort in practice and pushing to win those close matches."